Monthly Archives: July 2012

Death, Denial, Drinking, and Social Butterflies

Butterflies engage in a behavior called “mudding” or “mud puddling”.  They visit areas with wet sand or mud and drink. There seems to be a social element to this activity because the butterflies tend to form small groups that are clustered … Continue reading

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Another Day, Another Butterfly

I did some butterfly chasing this afternoon and got a photograph of this painted lady, Vanessa cardui.   Painted ladies can be very common but there aren’t so many right now. Butterfly photography, at least the way I do it, requires … Continue reading

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Monsters in Love

Jagged ambush bugs, Phymata species mostly sit on flowers and wait for butterflies or bees to fly by looking for nectar.  Then they kill them and eat them. Since I like butterflies and bees I probably should not like jagged … Continue reading

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It Finally Rained!

Not much really–only about 1/10 of an inch.  Not even close to breaking the drought. Have you ever seen giant ragweed wilt?  I didn’t think it would–it is one of the toughest weeds out there. The long spell of extremely … Continue reading

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Looking for Lunch

Saturday I saw this bluet, Enallagma species, looking for tiny morsals of living insects to eat.  It would hoover in place, then approach a stem and bite at what it saw. This is a spectacularly beautiful damselfly.

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Shaking a Sexy Leg

Saturday I ran across an interesting fly as I was photographing insects. This is a shore fly, apparently in the genus Ochthera.  Notice that it has enlarged front legs.  It seems that they are able to use them in a … Continue reading

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Back at the Mud Flats

I revisited the same muddy shoreline that I visited yesterday at Lincoln Access, along Saylorville Reservoir in Iowa. Two bumblebees were still working the remnants of a cattail plant.  Their pollen baskets are loaded. A weevil wandered along the dried … Continue reading

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A Salvage Operation

A came across some bumblebees this morning doing a salvage operation. The plant they were on is a cattail, which had been growing on the edge of a slowly drying pond until it received significant damage from an unwitnessed event.  Cattails produce … Continue reading

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Looking for Inspiration

I am not a musician but I often think that being a photographer is a lot like being a musician.  You do it for reasons that aren’t readily apparent to others.  You have to practice often.  Often you specialize–maybe you … Continue reading

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What’s Going on Here?

Monday night when I was down by the pond I happened upon this cluster of bees.  They seemed to be some kind of resin bee. When disturbed most of the bees would fly off, leaving one or two on the … Continue reading

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